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Photo by Geoff Fisk
The drop boxes outside the Barstow Post Office were re-opened for use Dec. 16. Authorities sealed the boxes July 17 in reponse to multiple complaints of mail being stolen at the boxes.

Mail drop boxes re-open

STAFF WRITER

BARSTOW • The drop boxes outside the Barstow post office were reopened for use this week after being sealed for five months due to a theft investigation.

Authorities closed the drop boxes July 17 due to customer complaints about mail being stolen at the boxes. A number of local residents gave the Desert Dispatch personal accounts of their mail being stolen.

Donna Weber was among the locals saying that mail she sent from the drop boxes had been tampered with.

“I had some very sensitive information that I had mailed off,” Weber said in July, “and then I started to get calls that the mail did not make it there.”

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, which is the law enforcement branch of the U.S. Postal service, started conducting an investigation in July after reports of mail theft.

Weber told the Desert Dispatch she noticed the drop boxes being temporarily sealed off as early as June, and that in July the mail she sent to her daughter through the drop boxes arrived late and opened.

Efforts to contact a U.S. Postal Service spokesperson have been unsuccessful since the re-opening of the drop boxes on Monday.

Stacia Crane, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, told the Desert Dispatch in August that locals with concerns about the safety of mail service should contact authorities.

“If they feel that their mail was stolen or compromised, they do need to report it to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service,” she said.

Crane advises local residents to protect their mail carefully and for the public to be vigilant in reporting any suspicious activity.

Geoff Fisk can be reached at 760-256-4123 or Gfisk@DesertDispatch.com.


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